Love Has No Holds, and Author Khalia Preyer is Proof!

The bars are a metaphor. You decide what those bars are.

It can never be fully conveyed as to how vital youth literacy is. Stats show that a well-read child is likely to perform better than a child who isn't read to as much. Their comprehension is better and stronger immediately and long term. We had the opportunity to catch up with Khalia Preyer, children's book author, and hear her amazing story. Her latest book, Love Beyond the Bars, tells a beautiful story of how a young child's love can still be nurtured in one of the coldest confinements.

TSW: You refer to yourself as KP Squared. Was that a given name or an earned name?

KP: I guess you can say "both." I was born Khalia S. Parker, yet, in 2011, I married into the Preyer family. I am a "name person," and my name means a lot to me. People mess it up all the time, so I say, "Just call me KP." I later thought KP was too common. So, like in math, I put parentheses around the "P" to show you that it must be multiplied by itself to apply. I think that's right. I'm not a mathematician.

TSW: Haha! No worries, we completely understand what you mean. Was there a point where you transitioned from playwright to book writing?

KP: No. In my mind, I'm still that playwright. I've switched to children's books for now because I feel it's necessary to break barriers earlier. Young children need me to advocate for them now. We'll get back to the plays soon.

TSW: You are correct. The early stages are the times to break the barriers. How do you feel having an incarcerated parent shaped you as a writer?

KP: It gave me strength and a story to share. There was a time when writing was my only escape. I had questions. I had problems- real problems. I couldn't talk about them. I had to write about them.

TSW: That's one of the fantastic things about the pen and paper, it's just the two of you, no sugarcoating, no judgment. Did you know from the start that you had a story to tell, or was it a matter of revelation?

KP: No, I didn't know from the start. I come from a place where you just didn't 'put your business out on the streets.' I was taught that 'the streets lie.' Yet, as I got older, I realized there is always some truth in the lies. And if I could tell my truth, it may help someone. Three years ago, I gave birth to my twin boys. I knew they were going to ask questions about their biological grandfather, and I had to tell my truth. I wrote Love Beyond the Bars because I wanted them to know that though my biological father is incarcerated and it'll probably remain that way, they can still have a relationship with him.

TSW: That was a courageous step, and I am sure it is more rewarding than the fear that came in making it. Are you working on anything new?

KP: Yes, I created a coloring book with enclosed pages so that young children can write letters to their loved ones behind bars. Whatever the bars are for them.

Your investment and dedication are praiseworthy, and I'm sure it's highly appreciated. Before we wrap up, just for fun, let's play a quickfire round!

TSW: Favorite Movie

KP: Love and Basketball

TSW: Dream Destination

KP: Aruba

TSW: If you could be from any other decade, what would it be?:

KP: The 80's - that, I wouldn't change.

TSW: One thing you would like your readers to know:

The bars are a metaphor. You decide what those bars are.

It could be anything, lies, self-doubt, parent divorce, whatever. Once you figure it out, remember there is still hope. You have to grow up one day. And when you do, you'll grow beyond the bars.

Wow! That is something we all need to know. How can they connect with you?


Instagram: @welovebeyondthebars